U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor was joined by Principal Director for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Michelle Lenihan at the 8th Bilateral Defense Conference between the United States and Ethiopia.
In acknowledgement of Ethiopia’s commitment to lasting reforms, Ambassador Raynor stressed that the United States is viewed the meetings in a different context than previous iterations. He said, “We are engaging with an Ethiopia that has new priorities that offer broader scope for cooperation than before.”
The Ambassador further expressed U.S. appreciation for Ethiopia’s essential role in regional security.
“This role is not only military; Ethiopia’s political leadership in facilitating the regional rapprochement with Eritrea, for example, and its revitalized outreach to other countries in the region including Djibouti and Somalia, are equally important.
Thanks to such efforts, the goal of an integrated and peaceful Horn of Africa is something we can now envision, not in the distant future, but in our lifetimes.
For that to happen, Ethiopia’s continued constructive engagement, both diplomatically and in terms of security cooperation, will remain essential.”
During the course of the meeting, participants discussed new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation toward mutual goals of lasting stability and security in Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, and beyond.